Zimbabwe, Mberengwa, 2012

This Community Health Club project was implemented by Zimbabwe  AHEAD (now Africa AHEAD), in partnership with ACF in 429 villages, within 6 wards of Mberengwa, Midlands Province, Zimbabwe in 2012.

Objectives of the project: The ambitious aim was to achieve blanket coverage, by getting every household within each village represented in a Community Health Club, in order to achieve complete common understanding and full community participation in the management of safe hygiene and sanitation to achieve Zero Open Defecation.

  • Country: Zimbabwe
  • Period: Jan – December 2012
  • Donor: European Union
  • Partner: Action Contra la Faim
  • Province: Midlands
  • District: Mberengwa
  • 6 Wards: (24,23,25,26,27,36)
  • Number of Villages: 237
  • Number of households: 8,208


2012 Outcome Evaluation Report – Detterman


  • Number of CHCs: 243
  • Number of Members: 9,615
  • Percentage CHC coverage: 117%
  • Number of EHTs
  • Number of CHC facilitators
  • Number of beneficiaries: 42,595
  • Cost of Project: US$193,529
  • Cost per beneficiary US$4.5

Achievements: Zero Open Defecation

Within six months, this project had exceeded its target with 243 CHCs in Mberengwa with  9,615 members which means there were 17% of households with more than one member in the CHC.

Thousands of temporary toilets were constructed and a village walk conducted by the villagers found there was no open defecation practices in the villages weeks after the sanitation sessions began whilst VIP latrines had been constructed without subsidy. This raised the latrine coverage by 14% to 41% with a permanent latrine. Use of a bathing room increased by 52% with 67% of club members using a bathing room post-intervention.


Mberengwa saw the biggest change in the use of hand washing facilities (6.4% of CHC members used a hand washing facility at baseline compared to 91.8% post intervention). Mberengwa also saw over a 20% increase in the use of the following: ventilated housing (65% compared to 86%), bathing rooms (16% compared to 67%), decorated kitchens (66% compared to 95%), ladles (18% compared to 83%), protected water sources (61% compared to 84%), potracks (46% compared to 97%), and refuse pits (58% compared to 97%).

Post intervention, over 80% of the CHC members in Mberengwa used the following: refuse pit, potrack, clean bedding, protected water source, ladle, decorated kitchen, ventilated housing, hand washing facility, covered water containers, and family utensils.

In addition, over 80% of CHC members knew how to make SSS solution, had immunized and dewormed their children, and had made sure their children had no skin diseases.


2012-2013 Annual Report

Lessons Learnt
The involvement of traditional leaders was noted as key as they set example for community participation. Villages proudly stuck ZOD notices at strategic places in their villages to commemorate the achievement of Zero Open Defecation. Months later, more and more toilets are still being dug and constructed. The fire was lit and community members are policing each other as they ride the sanitation ladder. Prizes like shovels, picks and hoes were won by the best villages to promote and sustain the construction of sanitary facilities. Communities can improve their health with minimum stimuli from external stakeholders. They built their toilets on self supply. They have improved their own sanitation coverage. They just need support to change their mind set from donor dependency to self-supply initiatives.


Community Health Clubs have proved to be a vehicle to this change in behaviour. At a cost of $3,65 per beneficiary per year, water and sanitation related diseases were reduced and a whole lot of other changes in general health and hygiene practices changed significantly.   Upon completion of sessions, the focus had shifted to Income generating activities.

At a meeting place of a Community Health Club in Mberengwa,  woman show the large ground map and each members is seated next to their own household. The stones indicate what type of latrine they have, i.e. temporary (Mud) or permanent VIP Latrine. This accountability results in Zero Open Defecation.

CHCs Graduation & Drama